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Editorial
March 13, 2002

Aging in the 21st Century: A Call for Papers

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Winker is Deputy Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2002;287(10):1326. doi:10.1001/jama.287.10.1326

The aging of the world's population has profound implications for medical care and health care systems. According to the United Nations,1 the number of people worldwide aged 60 years or older will increase from 1 in 10 currently to 1 in 5 by 2050. In some developed countries, that proportion will increase from 1 in 5 to 1 in 2 in 2050. The population 80 years or older is projected to increase from 11% of those older than 60 years now to 19% by 2050, and the number of centenarians is expected to increase 15-fold to 2.2 million. The rate of aging of the population is greatest in developing nations, a growing challenge for nations with few health care resources. By 2050, the ratio of people 65 years or older to those aged 15 to 64 years will double in developed nations and triple in developing nations.1

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